Ruth Musick Jackson, known by all as “Mama Ruth,” was born on April 2, 1930, at home in the small town of Lowell in Carroll County, Georgia.
She died peacefully in her home at the age of 86 on Saturday, January 7, with children at her side. She was preceded in death by her parents, Bessie Shaw Musick and James H. Musick; sister, Lois Musick Gladney; brothers, Elbert and James Musick; two infant brothers; stepmother, Vera Cheek Ellis Musick and stepbrother, Thomas Ellis.
Ruth was also preceded in death by her husband of 54 years, Joseph Eugene Jackson, known as “Daddy Gene.” She married Eugene, the love of her life, on August 17, 1946, and they resided on Franklin Road in Newnan in the house that began as one room and then grew along with the addition of each child.
Mama Ruth is survived by her five children, Diane Dawson (Jim), Cathy Wright (Lamar), Carol Glover (Banks), Connie Davis (Pat), and Alan Jackson (Denise). Twelve grandchildren include Douglas Dawson (Diane), Katie Dawson, James Dawson (Tiffany), Brian Wright (Angela), Adam Wright (Shannon), Philip Frank (Candace), Julie Roberts (Lloyd), Patrick Davis (Chris), Rob Davis, Mattie Jackson, Ali Jackson and Dani Jackson. She is also survived by nine great-grandchildren.
Her children were blessed to have her as a stay-at-home mom until her last child, Alan, was two years old, when she took a job as cafeteria manager at International Playtex. Her experience there led her to a position as dietitian and manager of Elm Street School cafeteria, where she served for 22 years.
Following Eugene’s retirement from Ford Assembly Plant in Hapeville and her retirement from Elm Street, the couple enjoyed traveling the country with friends and members of the Coweta Creek Jumpers camping club.
As Alan’s country music career skyrocketed, the couple’s small town story became internationally known. Their world suddenly included evening gowns, tuxedos, limousines and award shows.
This fame never affected their perspective on what was important – family, faith, and friends. Following Eugene’s death, Mama Ruth’s lifelong love of music inspired the children to encourage her to play and sing with them in a family bluegrass/gospel band, the Straynotes.
Ruth was best known for her outgoing and vivacious personality. She never met a stranger and was happiest when doing for others. Her Sunday lunches after church for her children and their families have been a weekly tradition for decades. Her love of birds and her care and feeding of them earned her property the designation as a wildlife sanctuary.
Ruth was very grateful, due to the generosity of Alan, for the opportunity to remain in the only place she knew as home and surrounded by so many of her family and devoted caregivers until her death.
The exemplary life of this matriarch of the Jackson family will be remembered and told in word and music in a service to be held at Central Baptist Church on Thursday, January 12, 2017 at 2 p.m., led by Dr. Winford Hendrix. Visitation with the family will begin at 12:30 p.m. in the church fellowship hall.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.mckoon.com .
McKoon Funeral Home (770) 253-4580.